Taking the time to set goals is only part of the process of goal setting and many people often overlook the other part which is creating a plan!
Without a plan, your goals remain incomplete. It’s like having a destination but without a map. Your goals tell you where you want to go in life but your plan tells you how to get there.
A goal plan is simply a list of scheduled activities that you will do sometime in the future. These may include activities done over a series of days, weeks, months, or even years depending on the type of goal you set for yourself.
Your plan does not have to be completed perfectly the first time. Usually, you will find that your first attempt at creating a goal plan will be vague and incomplete. But don’t worry, this is ok. Plans should be flexible and so are likely to be constantly updated as you move towards completing your primary goal.
In your plan, you should therefore create a series of steps you think you need in order to accomplish that goal. So think of it like baking a cake; your ultimate goal is to make a cake (and eat it!), but the ingredients and the things you do with those ingredients are your plans. Once you complete the plan, you complete your goal!
Creating a goal plan is frequently overlooked, and many people discipline themselves to write their goals every day but create no plan! So ensure you take the time to decide where you want to go (your goals) and then create a plan that will tell you how to get there!
In addition to your goal plan, it is also a good idea to use visualization to help clarify in your mind exactly what you want to achieve. This can simply involve thinking about your goals, and imagining them as completed when you go to bed. You can do this for about 10 minutes (or longer if you want) before you fall to sleep and you will be surprised at what a difference it makes in achieving your goals. One of the major reasons visualizing before sleep is so effective is that it provides easy access to the subconscious mind. Thereby allowing you to program your goals into your mind and increasing the likelihood that you will accomplish them.